The Other Wes Moore's Life

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The Other Wes Moore tells the story of two men who were born in the same area and share the same name; Wes Moore. Though these men came from similar backgrounds and face similar hardships, they lead very different lives. The author of the book is a successful scholar, while the other Wes Moore is serving a life sentence in prison. The parallel of these two life stories causes the reader to ask important questions of society and education. The narrative focuses on personal choice and how the actions of an individual can influence one’s fate. Examples of social and cultural capital and the impact of poverty can be seen when the experiences of each man’s lives are examined. These experiences either promoted or harmed each Wes’s opportunity for…show more content…
Wilson states that high joblessness and lack of opportunity are the source of “ghetto related behavior”, such as crime, drugs, and violence. Crime and drug use was fluent throughout the narrative of each of the Wes Moore’s lives. The author Wes experienced the results of crime as his mother was forced to sleep on the living room couch in order to protect their family. Both Wes Moore’s were involved in crime themselves, though different in severity. Wilson also speaks on the limited opportunity and disruptive school life that those who live in poor inner city communities encounter. As a child, the now imprisoned Wes saw his mother’s need-based financial grant terminated. He did not see the success of education, but he did see the success of street life and the drug trade. In his article, Wilson discusses how impressionable males are in these areas. An example of this can be seen when the now imprisoned Wes was awestruck over the headset worn by the man working the street corner. The look of this man drew Wes into the drug trade and the profit made him stay. Though Wes worked the drug trade, he lacked a stable or professional occupation. This, as Wilson discusses in his article, prohibited him from rational planning of daily…show more content…
Tangible forms of cultural capital are cultural goods one can possess while intangible forms of cultural capital are bodies of knowledge, ingrained attitudes, or educational credentials. Ingrained attitudes can clearly be seen in the narrative of the lives of each of the men, though they are very different. The most obvious example of this would be their mindset when it comes to fighting. Both men encounter various situations in which they could fight. The author Wes worries about what his mother would think when he had the opportunity to fight and decided to walk away. The now imprisoned Wes Moore often heard the phrase “send a message”, when he got into altercations. This message can be seen as a child when he grabs a knife after a disagreement and as an adult when he shoots Ray. Another body of knowledge that was very specific to Wes was his list of “major tip-offs” that told dealers they could be talking to a cop. Both men experienced different views on education from their families. The author Wes had parents and grandparents who graduated college and held successful careers. The now imprisoned Wes had a brother who made his money through street life and not his education. Lareau also speaks on the importance of parental participation in educational achievement. When the author’s mother

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